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Leyte Samar Daily Express

PALO, Leyte – At least 61 government-owned buildings and classrooms in Eastern Visayas are vulnerable to earthquake damages based on initial inspection reports of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The report from eight out of the 12 engineering districts of the region showed that some state infrastructures needs immediate repair due to visible cracks on walls and partitions, dilapidated ceilings, displaced roofs and floors, and unstable soil.

Of the 62 structures that need repair, 31 are school buildings, 28 are local government and national government buildings, and two hospitals located in Biliran, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Samar second district, Northern Samar second district, and three three districts in Leyte.

DPWH Regional Director Rolando Asis said that they are still waiting for inspection reports from four other engineering districts in the region.

“The inspection is ongoing as part of our preparation program if in case an earthquake will hit the region. We have to check buildings because some of these were built as early as1950s,” Asis told Leyte Samar Daily Daily Express.

Trained inspectors from maintenance, planning, and construction divisions were recently mobilized to undertake the regionwide inspection.

Among the schools with some classrooms that require rehabilitation to withstand ground shaking are Jugaban Elementary Schools, Carigara, Leyte; Sangahon Elementary School, Malitbog, Southern Leyte, Tawid Eelementary School, Maasin City; Panan-awan Elementary School, Maasin City, Lonoy Elementary School, Maasin City; Alangalang National High School, Alangalang, Leyte; Babatngon Central School, Babatngon, Leyte; and Quinapondan Elementary School and Quinapondan National High School in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar.

“The list of schools was sent to the Department of Education because it is under their responsibility. We also give recommendations for them to make budget proposals for rehabilitation,” Asis said.

Listed government offices prone to quake destruction are the Marcos type building (municipal annex) in Carigara, Leyte; Tagnipa barangay hall in Maasin City; municipal building of San Juan, Southern Leyte; town hall of Hinunangan, Southern Leyte; municipal building, sangguniang bayan building, fire station, agriculture office, social welfare and development office of Babatngon, Leyte; local government unit building, legislative building, police station, postal office, municipal trial court, rural health unit in Tolosa, Leyte.

Naval municipal building, gymnasium, commercial building in Naval, Biliran; municipal health center , police station, and community hospital in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar; multi-purpose center, legislative building, health center, police station in Pambujan, Northern Samar; and municipal hall, health, multi-purpose building in San Roque Northern Samar.

The implementation of earthquake preparation program was ordered by top officials of the DPWH following the tremor that hit Haiti in 2010. It was reiterated following the recent devastating ground shaking in New Zealand and Japan.

Meanwhile, the infrastructure agency is raising the standard in the construction of roads and bridges this year to withstand the negative impact of climate change.

Asis said that program of works for all projects have been evaluated to conform with higher standard set by their main office for the year.

According to Asis, the move to upgrade the standard was pushed after heavy rains had caused damages to infrastructure in national highways.

“Our secretary noted that even if there’s no typhoon, many roads and bridges were destroyed. We were told that before making permanent structures, we have to raise the standard,” Asis said.

One example, he said, is that placing geotextile nets in landslide prone areas is now mandatory this year. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY — Hot pursuit operations are now being conducted by the members of the police provincial headquarters of Biliran against the other suspects that burned two passenger buses that killed two drivers in Barangay Talahid, Almeria town.

Chief Supt. Arnold Revilla, regional police director, in a press statement, said that the two suspects have been arrested but there are other perpetrators who remain at large and believed to be hiding in the mountains of Almeria town.

Two bus drivers were killed when a group of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels burned down two buses early dawn on Saturday. Police officials said it was the first suspected rebel attack in the province, previously considered as the only insurgency-free province in the region.

The Biliran police provincial director, Senior Supt. Alfredo Sabornido, said the fatalities were sleeping inside the buses when the attack occurred. They were identified as Arnel Montano, 43, of Mondragon, Northern Samar and Edwin Bargola, 47, from Sorsogon City.

Hours after the grisly incident, police authorities were able to arrest two men who were on board a motorcycle and were brought to the provincial police headquarters for questionings.

The two men were identified as Jesie Oledan, 23, of Barangay Macalpi, Carigara, Leyte and Teodoro Macalalag of Barangay Candigahub, also in Carigara. Several items were recovered from the suspects including the motorcycle they used.

The two were positively identified by Joaquin Sabetsana, the barangay chairman of Barangay Talahid.

Because of the incident, Chief Supt. Revilla said he has directed all police provincial offices in the region to heighten security patrols and intensify intelligence-gathering to avert similar rebel offensives.

Revilla also ordered police stations all over the region to implement the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS) for police visibility.
He also called for close police and community interaction to prevent similar incidents. (REYAN ARINTO)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY—The New People’s Army (NPA) Efren Martires command has denied involvement in the recent burning of two buses that resulted to the deaths of two drivers in Almeria, Biliran.

In a press statement, NPA’s Efren Martires command spokesperson “Ka” Karlos Manuel said the they had nothing to do with the Biliran bus burning incident.

Police officers in the region, however, claimed that based on their initial investigation, they pointed out that the NPA rebels have perpetrated the burning of two Silver Star buses for the alleged failure of the bus company to pay its revolutionary tax.

“The PNP’s accusation is therefore nothing more than lazy, baseless and incompetent work and invented out of thin air. It also seems the PNP is spreading disinformation against the NPA after its successful ambush on police elements in Arteche, Eastern Samar last Feb. 26,” Manuel said in an statement posted at their Facebook account.

He added that the revolutionary taxation was an assertion of political authority and not a punitive action.

“Companies that do business inside the revolutionary territory have to comply with the laws and policies of the people’s democratic government. That includes respecting the communities involved, desisting from counterrevolutionary activities, and protecting the environment, among other regulations that may be clarified,” he said.

“Revolutionary taxation is thus just one of the laws and policies that businesses have to comply with inside the revolutionary territory, and not even the decisive one. For example, large-scale mining is banned totally because of its pro-imperialist, anti-people and anti-environment nature. Similarly, commercial logging is also banned totally, and trees may only be cut by the peasants for their personal use such as in constructing their houses,” the NPA spokesperson said.

“Thus, when the police score the NPA over ‘revolutionary taxation’ such as in the Biliran bus burning incident, it is nothing more than disinformation rearing its ugly head once again,” he added.

On March 5, two bus drivers were killed when a group of armed men believed to be NPA rebels burned down two buses in the island-province of Biliran.

Provincial officials said it was the first suspected rebel attack in the province, previously considered as the only insurgency-free province in Eastern Visayas region.

The Biliran police provincial director, Senior Supt. Alfredo Sabornido, said the fatalities were sleeping inside the buses when the attack occurred. They were identified as Arnel Montano, 43, of Mondragon, Northern Samar and Edwin Bargola, 47, of Sorsogon City. (REYAN L. ARINTO)


Leyte Samar Daily Express

They were 14 First Graduates for the Nursing profession who earned the degree at the Naval State University in 2010. Four of them passed the licensure examinations released recently. They are Lily Ann Calomadre Real; Jetter Jake Surdano, Theresa Santos and Joyce Casas Falguera. The NSU teaching and administrative staffs are and have understandably raised their chins with pride, since the percentage of passing is within the territory of 30%, the national average being 35.25%. And these are the first graduates since the opening of nursing department some four years ago.

Dr. Edita Sabonsolin Genson, Naval State University President was all smiles radiating satisfaction and noticeably upbeat about the performance of the nursing department in that examination, even saying that an old and famous state university had a zero passer.

I purposely will not identify the school till after it is confirmed.


To her dismay bordering on a highly emotional plane she contemplated of seeking, redress in a competent court to file a case against the writer of the news item that got printed in this paper by including NSU as one of the three colleges identified for closure “due to their poor performances in the licensure examination for nurses.” (LSDE, March 2, 2011 issue)


We sought interaction with the lady president about this issue last Friday. Incidentally in her office there was an LSDE copy for that day’s issue and we were pleased to read the letter of Regional Director German Palabyab expressing his views denying the veracity of the news item (LSDE 4, March 2011). Meaning the news item was not true on the closure of the three institutions mentioned.

Lessons learned for young writers. But this should not discourage Alvin Cardines. He is a talented guy and has a good future in media. So, he should simply take this as one of the risks of the trade and make one resolve not to commit the same error next time especially news articles that will damage reputations of either institutions or persons.


Naval State University has stock of records on exemplary performance, says Dr. Genson. The school is the top 5 in the 2005 Electrical Engineering.

Bryan Rivera was the 2nd placer in the Master Plumber examinations, nationwide.

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) opened for hiring recently qualified applicants to occupy 10 vacant positions in the pension agency nationwide. Of the 200 applicants GSIS selected the first Top 10 passers. The top passer is a Naval State University Business Administration graduate of 2010, Effie Moncada. While she was undergoing the on the job training in Cebu for one of the ten positions, she was taken by the GSIS Vice President, as her staff in the GSIS Central Office.


NSU President Edita Sabonsolin Genson rattled off other outstanding achievements under her tutelage but they should be better seen than read by interested observers, I would suggest. Having been a head of the defunct Ministry of Public Information in Biliran for over a year, in the early 80’s I can say that so much water has flown under the bridge of erstwhile Naval Institute of Technology, especially now as elevated as its newest university in the region.

The nursing department at NSU is new. They just had their first nursing graduates of 14.

By: Alvin Gz. Arpon


By: Flor Jackson

NAVAL, Biliran – The passing percentage of Naval State University (NSU) College of Nursing in Naval, Biliran province in the recent nursing licensure examination held in December 19 and 20 last year was 30.7%.

This was revealed by Dr. Edita S. Genson, NSU President in an interview with PIA.

She informed that the passing percentage of NSU College of Nursing is above the 30% baseline as cited in the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 14 series of 2009.

Dr. Genson reacted strongly to a report from a local newspaper that the College of Nursing of NSU together with two other schools in Leyte are up for closure due to poor performance in the December, 2010 nursing licensure examination.

She said, the report lacks sound basis and unreasonable because CHED Memorandum Order No. 14 series of 2009, Article 11 provides that the initial implementation of the gradual phase-out of the nursing program in schools that got an average of below 30% passing percentage for a period of three years starting school year 2010-2011 until the school year 2012-2013 in the nursing licensure examination will be implemented in 2013 yet.

Furthermore, she said, the report is baseless that NSU is not a performing school in the college of nursing because the nursing graduates of the said school who took the board examination in December last year belong to the first and pioneering batch of graduates having received their diplomas in March, 2010.

“The reckoning of performance in the board examination can be determined within a period of three years after the first batch shall have taken the exams”, she added.

She said, she personally inquired from CHED Central Office in Manila immediately after the false report came out and she got the information from the CHED official that the NSU college of nursing is not included in the monitoring compliance list of said office for those non-performing schools.

She said that over the years, NSU has been continuously producing board passers in the various courses.

“In the previous years, the NSU electrical engineering graduate landed fifth place in the board examination and third place in Master Electrician”, she said further.

Dr. Genson looks forward that the erroneous report be corrected to avoid misinformation to the public not only in the provinces where these three schools are located but in the entire Eastern Visayas region and even in the neighboring regions. (PIA-Biliran)


Republic of the Philippines
Professional Regulation Commission

March 2, 2011

The Leyte-Samar Daily Express
Knights of Columbus Bldg.
187 P. Zamora Street
Tacloban City, Leyte

Dear Mr. Grafil:

This has reference to a news item which appeared on page 2 of your March 2, 2011 issue of the Samar-Leyte Daily Express, written by a certain Alvin P. Cardines and entitled “3 nursing schools face possible closure”.

First of all the article is not very accurate in its presentation of facts that the writer gathered only from a short phone interview with the undersigned. Secondly, the writer made his own interpretation of some of the facts that specifically refer only to the performance of schools in the last Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE) held here in Tacloban City last December 2010.

In view of the inaccuracies and wrong interpretation, I am constrained to make the following clarifications in the interest of truth and in fairness to all those affected by the news item:

1. The interview was only about the performance of schools in Region VIII on the NLE conducted in Tacloban City, last December 19 and 20, 2010.

2. The pertinent facts are:

a. 682 out of 1,267 passed in Region VIII representing a 53.83% average passing rate for the whole of Region VIII.

b. The national passing average reported is about 35.25% or 29,711 out of 84,287 who took the exam.

c. Out of the twelve (12) HEIs who are listed in Region VIII as among those who sent their students to take the December 19 and 20, 2010 NLE, there are only three schools in Region VIII who did not meet the average national passing average for the December 2010 NLE of 35.25%.

3. The question of which schools in Region VIII should be closed or are in danger of being recommended for closure as a result of being classified as “non-performing schools” is a matter that is under the jurisdiction and mandate of the CHED, not PRC.

4. There is a process and protocol followed by the CHED in the matter of closing schools.

5. “Non-performance” in the PRC administered licensure examinations is just one of the determinants for closure of the program and/or the school. The HEIs are usually given up to five years to “make the grade”. Meeting the national average for passing at the very least, in each licensure examination is usually a major consideration, among others.

6. The undersigned did not categorically name the three schools in Regional VIII that “face possible closure” as a result of just one licensure examination, particularly the December 2010 NLE. Besides, the CHED does not necessarily close schools, but only “failed” academic programs of schools.

7. It is wrong and inaccurate to report that, and I quote that… “The three nursing schools…which have been identified as non performing schools are San Lorenzo Ruiz College,…Naval State College…and Asian Development Foundation College” just on the basis of one NLE exam conducted in December 2010. This is clearly an erroneous and a personal assertion of the writer, Mr. Cardines.

There are other inaccuracies but the foregoing are the major ones that need to be rectified and clarified. May I suggest next time, your prestigious newspaper should send me an experienced reporter, instead of a cub reporter who conducts his interview on the phone only. A more matured and experienced writer might have written a different report. Your reporter by the way came to see me and claimed that his original manuscript was changed by your editor.

In the interest of the truth and fairness in reporting, kindly publish this clarification for the benefit of everyone who was affected by the subject news item.

I look forward to your continued cooperation with PRC and your commitment to be “Positive, Fair and Free”.


Regional Director
Professional Regulation Commission, Tacloban City

NSU denounces false report of Leyte Samar Daily Express

First Posted 18:23:00 03/03/2011

CHED disclaims report on nursing schools, including NSU. Posted on LSDE website and in print.

Republic of the Philippines
Office of the President
Commission on Higher Education
Regional Office No.VIII

2 March 2011
Leyte Samar Daily Express
Tacloban City



I was informed from a reliable source that my name was mentioned re: Issue on the Performance of Nursing Schools in the Nursing Board Exams. The undersigned categorically denies the allegations written in the news item printed and published. Per telephone call received from a certain Mr. Cardines, last February 28, 2011, the undersigned stated that the CHED Regional Office has no data available regarding the issue.

The undersigned also did not identify any school as indicated in the news item since as stated above, the CHED Regional Office has no data available.

When I asked also by Mr. Cardines of my position, I said, OIC, Chief Administrative Officer and not Officer-in-Charge of CHED.

Please rectify your report.

Thank you.
Very truly yours,

ESII/OIC, Chief Adminstrative Officer

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